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Avoiding Back Pain Makes it Worse

by Jun 12, 2019Handouts

Chiropractic Proves to be Better than NSAID Medications

The majority of low back pain is nonspecific, which means a definitive diagnosis for the pain cannot be made. Low back pain continues to be the greatest reason for disability, missed work days, and need for dangerous pain-relieving medication. It is the leading cause of work disability and the third largest reason for early retirement. This study was the first time which spinal adjustments were investigated in a double-blind randomized controlled design showing clear superiority compared with placebo in and NSAIDs. The findings of this study were as follows:

  • The objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of high-velocity low-amplitude spinal adjustments compared to Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs).
  • This is a randomized, double blinded, placebo-controlled trial.
  • The adjustment was a side posture high velocity low amplitude thrust maneuver compared to the effectiveness of the NSAID diclofenac for subjects suffering from acute low back pain.
  • Few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of spinal adjustments compared to NSAIDs regarding patient satisfaction, function of the patient, off work time, and rescue medication.
  • Outcome assessment included: self-rated physical disability using the Roland Morris disability score, function SF-12, visual analog scale for pain, and time off work.
  • The trial was conducted in five orthopedic or general practices in four different cities, and the follow up was 12 weeks after randomization.
  • The majority of low back pain is not specific, which means a definitive diagnosis cannot be made.
  • In the past 20 years, the cost to treat back and neck pain have increased substantially. Low back pain incurs high indirect cost due to lost productivity, ranks first as a cause for disability, and retains the third place as a reason for early retirement.
  • 80% of low back pain patients who receive treatment return to work within one month. 7% developed chronic low back pain. Without treatment more than 60% developed chronic low back pain or recurrence is. Appropriate treatment therefore seems to be essential to avoid chronic pain.
  • This study found that spinal manipulation produced faster and quantitatively more distinct improvements in outcome assessments.
  • Spinal adjustments were significantly better than the NSAID diclofenac, and clinically superior to the placebo.
  • Spinal adjustments showed a faster and quantitatively more distinct reduction in outcome assessment, required much less rescue medication, produced less time off work for sufferers, and reported no adverse effects or harm from the adjustments.
  • Final evaluation showed spinal adjustments were significantly better than NSAID drugs, and clinically superior to the placebo for low back pain sufferers.
  • This is the first time which spinal adjustments were investigated in a double-blinded, randomized controlled design showing clear superiority compared with placebo and NSAIDs.

Research showed that spinal adjustments provided a faster and more effective relief from back pain than popular anti-inflammatory drugs which are often prescribed for such conditions. In addition, the group which received spinal adjustments required less time off from work and needed less medication. Research shows that “appropriate treatment” is essential to avoid chronic low back pain. Chiropractic will continue to play a lead role in helping back pain sufferers avoid long term chronic pain by addressing the cause in a timely manner without the use of drugs or surgery. Every back-pain sufferer deserves to understand and experience the benefits of chiropractic to help them on the road to a pain free life.

This white paper discusses the significance of the 2013 study published in the Journal of Spine called “Spinal High-Velocity Low Amplitude Manipulation in Acute Non-Specific Low Back Pain”.

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